When asked about the importance of having an all-female team from Saudi Arabia, Alfaisal University team leader, 22 year old Mechanical Engineering student, Shams Alshuwaier, said: “Girls and women are part of the community and should be included in everything”, adding that, “We want to show that Saudi Arabia is active in the automotive industry, starting with students first, with the youth…and of course we want to change the worlds point of view around how women are doing in our country, and around our interests.”
The students hope to use the competition as an opportunity to apply what they learned in the class room in a practical, competitive environment. They are also looking forward to meeting and interacting with industry experts in order to learn from their experience.
Taking place between April 29th – May 2nd, the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019 competition will be held at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as part of Shell’s global Make the Future Live programme, with over 100 teams from all over Asia and the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has a contingent of four teams from three universities participating this year, including two teams from Alfaisal University with the female team participating for the first time, one team from King Saud University, and also competing for the first time, one team from Prince Sultan University.
Shams, who aspires to work as a Drilling Engineer at an energy company upon graduating, noted that while learning where to start with developing their vehicle was a challenge, she highlighted that she and her team are “doing just as great and working just as hard as the male team.”
The team are participating in the Prototype category of the competition with Hydrogen as the energy source for their car, which they have named “Faith X”. The vehicle has a carbon fibre body and aluminium chassis – light weight materials to help with efficient energy consumption.
Driving “Faith X” will be 20 year old Felwah Alarwan, who said “At first, I was amazing that we were going to be driving a car that we built…and I’m the one that gets to drive it”, adding “I was a little nervous at first, but with all the training we did and support we got, I am more confident and excited.” Felwah hopes to pursue graduate studies in Renewable Energy Systems upon obtaining her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Alfaisal University.
The Alfaisal University students expressed that their team spirit and problem-solving skills has prepared them to meet the challenge on the track in Malaysia.
Andrew Crowe, Shell’s Country Chairman for Saudi Arabia, stated: “In line with the themes of the Saudi Vision 2030 around empowerment and environmental sustainability, the Shell Eco-marathon challenges bright young student minds to design and build ultra-energy-efficient cars, testing their knowledge and supporting their growth as future leaders in the industry”, adding, “we are proud of our local teams and wish them all the very best on the track in Malaysia.”
The Asia leg of the competition returns to where it was first held in 2010, celebrating its 10th year. In 2018 Singapore hosted the event, where the winning team was efficient enough to travel 2,341 kilometres – about the distance from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Amman, Jordan – on just one litre of fuel!
For more information on Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2019, please visit.
About Shell Eco-marathon
Shell Eco-marathon can be traced back to 1939 at a Shell research laboratory in the United States as a friendly wager between scientists to see who could get the most miles per gallon from their vehicle. The winner of that contest barely achieved 50 mpg (21 km/l). These humble origins inspired what is now a global programme of competitions. In 1985 in France, Shell Eco-marathon as we know it today was born. In April 2007, Shell Eco-marathon Americas event was launched in the United States, and in 2010, the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia was kicked off in Malaysia.
Malaysia hosted Shell Eco-marathon Asia from 2010 until 2013. In 2014, the event moved to a street circuit in Manila, Philippines, which hosted the event until 2016. Shell Eco-marathon Asia then moved to Singapore at the Make the Future Festival from 2017 to 2018. This 2019, in its 10th year, Shell Eco-marathon Asia returns to the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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